According to the headlines in the edition of 18th January the dramatic increase in the use of the local food bank is either ‘scary’ or ‘staggering’. My I venture to suggest that it is neither, it is part of a national disgrace.

We are constantly told during the current Brexit debacle that Britain will be able to make its own way in the world because we have the fifth richest economy in the world. Really? Why then do we have so many families and children who are so poor that they have to rely on food banks to survive?

And why are there so many homeless rough sleepers on our streets begging for a subsistence? Have you walked down Above Bar in Southampton lately? There is evidence of another national disgrace.

A genuinely caring government would see that wealth is more evenly distributed than it is at present. But asking the obscenely rich to part with a few more pounds to help reduce the poverty gap seems to be another of those red lines which the government fear to cross.

Please do not tell me, also, that the ordinary citizen cannot afford to pay a bit more tax to help fund our Social Services when they will clearly pay 37 pounds per month for 24 months to secure the latest mobile phone.

Michael Bull